10 BASICS OF EFFECTIVE ONLINE MERCHANDISING

The merchandising 101 of e-retailing that can make or break your venture

1.Think Like Your Customer
2.Don't Run With Turkeys
3.Use Cross-Sell Effectively
4.If I Can't Find It...You Ain't Got It!
5.Why Should I Buy From YOU?
6.Every Product's Worth a Picture
7.You Gotta Be Easy
8.Create an Impulse To Buy
9.If They Wanted to Call...
10.Learn to Feed the Need!

Create an Impulse To Buy

An effective online retailer is one who can convince the “tire kicker” to actually complete their purchase online, right now. Your merchandising must invoke an impulse to buy for the shopper.

Most shoppers are tire-kickers and best deal hunters.

For every shopper that visits your website with a clear intention to purchase a product online, at least five others visit that intend only to use the internet as research, and plan to complete their purchase in a brick-and-mortar store.

Internet retail sites are used more for research of products far more often than they’re used to actually complete a purchase.

Another habit of online shoppers who plan to complete their purchase online is to search for a single product on the websites of multiple retailers, then complete the purchase on the site of the retailer that gives them the best deal.

There are many ways to create this impulse, depending on the dynamics of your market and the supply/demand economics of your industry.

Everyone's afraid of losing.

A common and effective technique called “fear of loss” can usually be implemented. Fear of loss is messaging that indicates to the shopper the possibility that if they come back later to place their order, they may not be able to get the same product, or get it at the same bargain. If the product is difficult to find and available in short supply, simply displaying the quantity left in your inventory can create fear of loss (e.g., “get it now, only 3 left…”). Offering a special discount incentive that’s only valid today can also create a fear of loss of the deal.

Fear of loss is one of the most effective techniques, if well implemented. However, there are many ways to create an impulse to buy. You’ll just need some creativity, and a good understanding of what’s important to your target market.

If you’d like assistance coming up with some good strategies for creating an impulse to buy, contact our online retail analysts for some ideas.

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